Lowepro is one of the best-known backpack manufacturers amongst photographers and the Pro Trekker range is one of its most popular.
The Lowepro Pro Trekker BP350 AW II is the smallest of the refreshed Pro Trekker models. It measures 32 x 25 x 48cm and has a camera compartment that measures 28 x 15 x 42cm. This enables it to contain a pro-level DSLR or mirrorless camera such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Nikon D850 or Sony A9, each with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, plus 4 or 5 other lenses.
There’s even room to put a battery grip on the camera if you want.
Lowepro also supplies a SlipLock tripod cup that attaches quickly and easily to the side or back of the backpack to take the weight of a tripod. It’s held in place by the two removable quick-release straps.
The main section of the Pro Trekker BP350 AW II opens from the front. That means that you have to take the pack off your back before you can open it to access your gear. That’s fine on many occasions, but it can be problematic in wet or muddy conditions.
It also means that this isn’t the backpack to use in a busy city where pickpockets may be tempted to try to help themselves to your gear.
Inside the main compartment of the Pro Trekker BP350 AW II there’s a collection of padded dividers. These can be moved and positioned around your camera gear to keep it safe.
The dividers contain dense foam, so they don’t need to be very thick to prevent your lenses from damaging each other. And they do a great job.
On Your Back
Lowepro has given the Pro Trekker BP350 AW II well-padded, broad shoulder-straps. These help keep the backpack comfortable when it’s fully-laden. However, I would’ve liked a load-lifter strap at the top of each to pull the bag a bit closer to my back.
I also find that I need to fasten the chest strap to pull the shoulder straps closer together and take some of the weight off my shoulders. My partner who is over 6feet tall and has a broader frame, however, doesn’t have that issue.
Like the straps, the back of the Pro Trekker BP350 AW II is nicely padded, so it’s comfortable on your back. I couldn’t feel any of the contents of the bag digging into my back.
There’s also a broad waist belt, which is useful for taking some of the weight when the bag is full and you want to cover a lot of ground. It has a wide adjustment range, making it suitable for all shapes and sizes of photographer. However, if you don’t want to use it, it can be removed.
It’s also possible to stash the shoulder straps behind the back section padding. This is helpful when you’re on a ‘plane or train and want to avoid the straps catching on things. There are grab handles on the side and top to carry the pack.
The AW in the name of the backpack stands for ‘All Weather’. That moniker comes thanks to the inclusion of a shower-cap-style rain cover. This is stowed in a small pocket at the base of the bag and it can be deployed in a matter of seconds.
Helpfully, it is attached to the inside of the pocket by a short strap. That’s handy after a rainstorm when you want to let the rain cover dry before stashing it again.
Even without the rain cover, raindrops bead and roll off the Pro Trekker BP350 AW II’s outer fabric. However, the zips aren’t fully waterproof, so it’s advisable to use the cover in heavy rain.
The Lowepro Pro Trekker BP350 AW II has a quite rectangular shape with clean-looking sides. However, there’s an expandable pocket on the side of the pack, which is useful for carrying a water bottle or mini tripod.
In addition, the Pro Trekker BP350 AW II has a laptop compartment at the front. This can take a 15-inch laptop and a 10-inch tablet.
There’s also a small zip-closing front pocket that’s handy for stowing your keys or wallet.
In a nice touch, there’s an organiser gearbox. This removable, zip-closing container is perfect for organising things like batteries, cables and filters or adapter rings.
The Lowepro Pro Trekker BP350 AW II is a good-quality bag that’s made from strong, durable materials. It can contain a lot of gear and keep it nicely organised as well as well-protected. And thanks to the well-shaped and padded straps, it’s comfortable to carry it fully laden, even over several miles. A load-lifter strap on each shoulder strap would improve things even further.
Although the bag is much bigger than you need for just a camera and a lens or two, it’s comfortable enough to use for smaller loads.
Having tested many bags and backpacks, I’ve become used to the convenience of bags that open at the back or side so they don’t need to be put down to access. It’s nice to be able to remove your camera and lens quickly without putting the bag on the ground.